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I am an NCMA Children Come First Network Childminder

An NCMA Children Come First childminding network is an approved formal group of registered childminders who are assessed, recruited and monitored by a dedicated network coordinator.

An NCMA Children Come First childminding network is a means of ensuring that childminders provide a high quality care and education service to families. Childminders in a childminding network provide care and education for children from birth to 14 years.

Childminding networks may be subsidised by employers to reduce the cost for working parents, or by other organisations while parents train for work. There are a range of funding options available, including local authority Early Years Teams, the New Opportunity Fund, the Single Regeneration Budget (SRB), the New Deal, Sure Start and European Funding. More information about grants can be obtained from your local partnership or your local Community Volunteer Service (CVS).

The childminders receive professional ongoing support from a network co-ordinator, who fills vacancies on the network by matching a parent and child's needs to the service that an individual childminder has to offer.

The training needs of each individual childminder in the network are assessed and planned professional development is put in place.

Childminders in an NCMA Children Come First network have the opportunity to go on to develop and become accredited providers of educational places for three and four year olds.

Childminding networks are locally based and can be directly linked to a child's school, helping children take part in out-of-school and community activities.

NCMA Children Come First childminding networks provide quality assured childcare and education — all childminders are assessed and regularly monitored and they work to standards set out in NCMA's Quality Childminding Charter.

An NCMA Children Come First childminding network can provide either one type of service, or a combination of services, specific to local needs:

  • out-of-school
  • community childminding places for children and families with additional needs
  • educational places within Early Years Development and Childcare Partnership Plans and local Sure Start initiatives

NCMA's Quality Childminding Charter

Registered childminders recruited to a network make a commitment to maintain high quality standards in all aspects of childminding. For a network to be approved by NCMA under its Children Come First scheme, all childminders in the network must be practising according to the standards decribed in the Quality Childminding Charter. The Charter is based on NCMA's "Principles for Excellence in Childminding Practice".

Childminders are required to meet nationally approved standards in eleven areas included in the Charter:

  • Childminding status
  • Children's learning and development
  • Working in partnership with parents/families
  • Children's behaviour
  • Equality of opportunity/anti-discrimination
  • Confidentiality
  • Keeping children safe
  • Nutrition and diet
  • Continuity
  • Business practice
  • Support and liaison.

More information can be found here